Walkabout

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by Susan Solinsky

Recorded by author

How to walk, in 2020 and beyond: 

When coals
            blister hot
                    under your feet 

     and smoke
            swirls
                    to distract you,
                                       become
        a firewalker. 

     Call up
                centuries of rites,
                                 ancestors with
                                               hardened heels
blackened nails. 

      Stay in the body, 
               it will guide you,
                                    stay upright,
                                             head lifted
                                             above the sternum,
                           eyes clear,
            but soft. 

      Hear chants
                    drumming inside
                                          the bones,
open both palms
to receive ash
             from deer,
                            cedar,
                                    coyote. 

    Keep moving,
water gathers
                               far below,
                                              in underground
caverns.

                        Focus on life-giving air,
on healthy lungs,
cool nostrils
             not on flames glowing.

Breathe
            inside the belly,
                                     steady,
fill your mind
with myths,
psalms,
                kaddish,
          metta. 

See where each
                     step leads.
              Breathe into
           the next
     passageway,
unharmed. 

Tears will come.
                 Winter waits.  


Recorded by Carmen Rumbaut

 

Susan has lived in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada for 45 years, on  land once tread by the Nisenan Tribe. Her daily practice is of honoring the ancestors, her own and those who resided  on the land and to bless her life and her family’s. She moved from the San Francisco Bay Area in mid 1970’s to settle on several  acres with her husband, where she raised a family, worked in the schools, and  continued to write as she’s done since childhood.  
Some of her work evolved into short stories, dreams, poetry and some were  published. 

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